North West Counties League Premier Division: Silsden 5 Daisy Hill 1

NICKY McNally celebrated his 30th birthday by netting two goals in a minute to see off Daisy Hill and make it 16 straight wins for Silsden.

The second-from-bottom visitors had threatened to spoil the Cobbydalers' 100 per cent record when Niall Callahan equalised on 60 minutes after Joe Gaughan’s early goal.

But McNally's quickfire double put the hosts back in control and two more goals made the margin of victory even more comfortable despite a lacklustre performance from Silsden.

Whether they were expecting an easy game or their minds were on tomorrow’s visit to second-placed Prestwich Heys is open to debate.

But what is clear is that every team Silsden face want to be the first to take points off the runaway leaders, who went 11 points clear after Prestwich's game at home to St Helens Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Before the Cobbydalers' game, two minutes' silence were held for those who had lost their lives in military service. Remembered in particular were former Silsden players Sgt John Baldwin, John Gill and Thomas Stanley Wigglesworth, who were in the team which won the 'General’s Cup' before the three soldiers died at the Somme in the first week of July 1914.

Silsden began with neat play between Kyle Hancock and Niall Sultan, who brought a fine save from Craig Haines. Sultan’s next cross was met by Joe Gaughan and, though Haines pushed the ball away, the division's leading scorer followed up to slide it home after ten minutes.

Haines denied Mark Everingham before he tipped Craig Bentham’s 40-yard shot over.

The keeper denied Gaughan a second before the striker hit Mark Trueman’s cross over the bar. It was 20 minutes before the visitors had a shot on target, Callum Jakovlevs gathering Danny Warburton’s 20-yarder at the far post.

Silsden pushed for a second as three close-range efforts were blocked.

McNally came on for the injured Kyle Hancock as Gaughan headed wide from a corner. At the other end, Jordan Donnelly shot over as the visitors exerted some pressure.

McNally hit the post early in the second half after a free-kick by Mark Trueman. Dan Illingworth then headed clear before the Cobbydalers defence was caught in an advanced position.

Right back Bentham was dispossessed on the halfway line. Alex Guest sped up the left before being tripped in the box by last man Dan Illingworth, Callahan slotting home the resulting penalty.

Realising their 100 per cent record was on the line, Silsden upped their game. McNally weaved his way into the box and netted on 65 minutes before swiftly bagging his second after dispossessing a defender in the box.

Daisy Hill were forced to bring on their third substitute as goalkeeper Jake Chadwick took over between the sticks while regular keeper Haynes went into the attack.

Sultan was brought down in the penalty area and the substitute keeper’s first job was to pick the ball out of the net, Gaughan striking the perfect penalty to make it 4-1.

There was still time for a fifth as boss Danny Forrest, on as a sub, slid the ball to McNally, who got to the byline before pulling back for Arley Barnes to score.

McNally was unlucky not to complete a birthday hat-trick, his injury-time screamer just clearing the bar.

It hadn’t been a classic but Silsden march on with their perfect record intact.

SILSDEN: Jakovlevs, Moses, Bentham, Kaine, Illingworth, Trueman, Barnes, Hancock (McNally 26), Everingham (Rhodes 77), Gaughan, Sultan (Forrest 77).